Warning: Grumpiness Ahead
Long time no blog. Short version is I got Covid June 2022, and though the vaccines kept me out of hospital (just – breathing with O2 levels of 88% was not fun) it caused a relapse I’m still going through. I have a draft of a proper update blog post as lots of things have happened, but brain fog is preventing me from completing it.
I’ve gone from mostly bedbound to completely so. Since getting Covid I’ve gone out for hospital appointments and to go into respite, but that’s it. I miss being outside, even just to go on the ramp. Being too ill for visitors sucks. I make an exception for Sammie because the payback is worth it, but it’s months between her visits.
I was mostly coping okay with this, then at the beginning of November this year having a wash then my flu and Covid vaccines too close together has brought more deterioration. I feel guilty for struggling to deal with it. I’ve been much worse than this before, which isn’t helping the guilt as I feel I should be able to manage better.
I think it’s partially that once I’d recovered from the actual Covid infection, I still had things I could do that I now can’t, as the long term effects from that were more POTS and movement based rather than sensory. So I could watch YouTube, TV shows and Twitch streams. I could play video games using an adapted controller. I could manage going on my computer for a few hours a month. I even became a moderator for a couple of Twitch/Discord communities that have helped keep me going during the pandemic, which meant I felt like I was able to give back to them. Now I’m nearly always too ill, and it hurts.
I think Twitter imploding also hasn’t helped. When it shut down API access to third party apps, it stopped being the easiest place for me to keep up with people. Then lots of my friends left (for good reason), and they’re all spread out over different platforms. I do have a Mastodon and Bluesky account, but I’m struggling to use them even though I want to. Facebook is also overwhelming. Discord isn’t quite the same, being closer to chat rooms than a place to find friends updates and stuff, and there’s so many servers it’s impossible to keep up. I mostly stick to the two I moderate, with a couple more slow paced ones I look at when I’m able to.
I feel guilty because I know how lucky I am. Izzy is amazing, and I’m so lucky to have her. She still works full time from home, and yet tells me it’s okay to wake her up at night when I need things. Her job means our income is stable, and though we’re still on a low enough income to qualify for Universal Credit, it’s enough that we don’t need to worry too much about things despite the increased cost of living.
My main three care workers from the new agency I started with last year are excellent, and due to their stubbornness around wanting to keep to the same clients, most of the time I only have those three each week at set times, and it’s the same one for both daily calls. It makes a massive change from around 10-15 with the previous agency, and has reduced how ill receiving care makes me. I don’t even need a weekly rota (though I do have it in the calendar because keeping track of days is hard, and it’s a fortnightly rotation).
So many people with Severe ME are doing so much worse than me. Even I’m not even close to where I was at my worst. Most of the time I can speak, eat solid food with my fingers, roll over, and cope with a certain amount of light and noise. I have people who love me and believe in me. I feel guilty I can’t communicate with most of them.
To make it clear, I don’t think I’m depressed. I had depression for 12 years, so I know what that’s like. I don’t feel emotionless or very down. I’m mostly frustrated.
Before getting Covid I’d been improving, to the point where I could sit up for 2 minutes without vomiting or fainting for the first time in years. I had been planning to attempt a non-hoisted transfer on my 36th birthday. I can’t remember most of June or July of 2022, and based on what I can remember I’m glad of it.
Even after that, I adapted to my new normal. I figured out what I could and couldn’t do. I felt lucky that I’d stayed out of hospital, and that I could still do the things I enjoyed that helped me cope.
I think that now I can’t do those things (at least not without really bad payback) it’s why I’m struggling. Izzy’s doing her best to help but I can only tolerate her in my room for short periods and she has other things she needs to do. I think it being such small things that have made it this way hasn’t helped. Losing abilities because of something big (like Covid) is easier to deal with.
There’s one Twitch stream a week that really helps my mental health, so I’m prioritising that right now. There’s a segment called Little Victories, where everyone who wants to can share something they’re happy about from the previous week, no matter how small. Even before this relapse being there helped, but now it’s the main thing I’m looking forward to, and it’s worth the payback.
I’m also praying. Not always in words. I’m hoping with time I’ll get better, even if only a little bit. I know I’ll be okay, but also that it’s okay to be frustrated and upset right now. Not sure how to deal with the guilt, but I can work on that when I’m able. I’ve gotten through a lot worse.
I’m not expecting anyone to have read this, but if you have, I hope you’re doing as well as possible. There’s a lot of good in the world, and I hope one day I’ll be part of that.